Fears of fueling the rampant movie piracy business in places like China and Hong Kong likely prevents Apple from offering movie downloads in most of Asia.
Although an Apple representative would not comment on the piracy issue in a report on Yahoo! News, it is difficult to imagine Steve Jobs and company not considering the prospect of feeding movie releases to mass duplicators just as their DVD counterparts hit the shelves at Wal-Mart.
Licensing agreements also have caused problems for Apple, as recording labels in Japan have shunned iTunes in favor of other outlets. A weak presence in the rapidly expanding Asian Internet market keeps Apple from profiting from that userbase.
"We cannot comment on the specifics but it is true that iTunes is not available in Asia," Tony Li, Apple's marketing director for Asia, said Wednesday. "That goes for music and movies."